This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.
Sirens wailing, Squad 51 came blazing down Gaylord Avenue before rolling to a gentle stop in front of Batson's Restaurant. "Pretty fancy place, huh?" John Gage said as he pulled the biophone out of its storage compartment.
"So I hear," Roy DeSoto nodded, his reddish-brown hair bobbing as he reached for the oxygen tank. "Expensive, too."
"You and Joanne ever come here?" Gage grabbed the drug box in one hand, hoisted the biophone with the other, and headed for the entrance, his partner following close behind.
"Are you kidding?" As he passed the front door, DeSoto caught a peek at the display menu. "I never go to a place where the prices aren't listed on the menu."
A perfectly dressed gentleman hurried up to them. "Thank you for coming so promptly," he said as he led them to the back of the restaurant. Gage smiled sheepishly at the predominantly grey customers who were staring at the strange parade that was intruding upon their lunch. Noticing that several of the older women were giving him appraising looks, he hurried to catch up to his partner, hoping no one could see his blushing.
"I'm William Batson," their guide explained as they walked to one particular alcove. "Mr. Freeman, here," he gestured to an elderly man with a wild mane of white hair, "grew concerned when his wife did not return from the facilities. He asked me to check, and when I did…" Batson pointed toward the door marked ‘LADIES’. "See for yourself."
Gage and DeSoto glanced at each other. "Is anyone else in there?" DeSoto asked.
"One of my waitresses. I had her stay with Mrs. Freeman while I called you."
"Please," Mr. Freeman said in a trembling voice. "Please check on my Mary. Is she all right?"
DeSoto smiled reassuringly at the old man. "We'll find out in just a moment. If you'll excuse us…" He went to join Gage, who was staring at the sign on the door. "Junior?"
"This is weird," Gage said under his breath. "I mean, I've never…you know, seen a women's rest room before."
"Can't be that different from a men's room."
Gage stared at his partner. "You've never been in one either?"
"Nope. First time for everything, though. Let's go." DeSoto passed his partner and swung the door open.
The restroom was decorated in a pleasant pastel format. One wall was lined with a long mirror, coupled with a counter, a few washbasins and chairs. Sitting just in front of the opposite wall was a huge padded couch. Gage dropped the drug box and biophone upon it as he headed for the middle stall, where a pretty young woman was crouched over the unconscious patient. "Hi," he said pleasantly to the waitress. "We'll take over now. Thanks for sitting with her."
"My pleasure," she said brightly as she stood up. "If you'd like, I could stay here in case you need anything."
DeSoto was about to say it wasn't necessary, but Gage cut him off. "That would be fine," he said with what he hoped was his most dazzling smile. He knelt down beside the old woman, slipped his stethoscope into place, and reached for the blood pressure cuff. Nearby, DeSoto crouched down to set up the biophone. As he worked, the paramedic winced.
"You okay?" Gage asked.
"Yeah." DeSoto didn't think it was an appropriate time to mention that all those cups of coffee he'd had earlier were requesting their freedom. "Rampart, this is 51," he called into the receiver.
"51, this is Rampart. Go ahead," came the unmistakable voice of Doctor Morton.
"Rampart, we have an unconscious woman, approximate age 65. She has a small cut on the right side of her forehead and bruising in the area. Stand by for vitals." Gage passed him a piece of paper. "BP is 110 over 71, pulse is 60 and steady, and respiration is 20."
"51, stand by."
Gage grabbed a gauze bandage from DeSoto. "Five bucks says we start an IV, D5W and prepare for transport."
"No bet." A thought suddenly came to DeSoto; he frowned and looked up at his partner. "Is the floor wet in there?"
Gage patted the area around him. "Nope. Dry as a bone."
"That's odd." DeSoto shook his head. "Judging from the injury to her head, she must have been sitting down when she fell."
"How do you fall sitting down?" Gage asked rhetorically, then realization dawned. "She passed out."
"But why?" DeSoto asked. "Her vitals don't indicate anything."
"51, this is Rampart. Start an IV with D5W and prepare for transport." Gage shook his head and muttered something under his breath about 'Doctor D5W'.
"Rampart, this is 51," DeSoto replied. "We believe that the patient acquired the injury through passing out, not a fall."
"51, does the patient have any MedicAlert tags visible?"
Gage was already searching the woman's arms and neck. He shook his head.
"Excuse me." The woman's husband hesitantly slipped through the doorway. "I heard you talking just now. Mary has a medical condition. Some kind of…epsy, I can't remember what they call it, but she tends to fall asleep at odd times."
"Narcolepsy?" DeSoto asked.
"Yes, that's it!" Mr. Freeman nodded happily. "She must have had an attack in here. She should come out of it shortly."
"Well, if you don't mind, sir, we ought to take her to Rampart and make sure she's all right." DeSoto reached for the biophone. "Rampart, this is 51. The patient's husband has informed us that she has narcoleptic attacks."
"51, this is Rampart. Sounds good. Bring her in and we'll check her out." As if on cue, the ambulance attendants appeared just behind Mr. Freeman; the old man scooted out of the way to let them in. As they secured the woman onto the gurney, DeSoto suggested that the old man accompany his wife to the hospital. He agreed gratefully.
"You going with her?" Gage asked DeSoto, his eyes squarely on the cute waitress. She in turn was clearly sizing him up the way a cat evaluated a canary.
Normally DeSoto would have no problem with letting his partner clean up (in every sense of the word), but things were getting a bit…uncomfortable. "Nah, you go ahead," he said as casually as possible. DeSoto started to straighten up, but a quick jab of bladder pain made him stop.
"Roy," John half-said, half-pleaded. "It's okay. You go on. I don't mind. Really." He made a quick nod toward the waitress, his eyes pleading.
"Junior…" Roy tried not to think about waterfalls or fountains. "I'll take care of it." He put as much 'I've got more seniority than you and I'm using it' into his voice as possible.
"But…" Gage glanced over at the doorway, but the cute waitress had vanished. "Okay," he sighed. "Thanks loads, pally." He grabbed the drug box and trudged off toward the ambulance. DeSoto set to work picking up the debris, all too aware of the audience still milling around the doorway. He glanced up and smiled weakly at the crowd. "Everything's okay. You can…go back and eat or…whatever. Okay?"
When they hadn't left two minutes later, Roy decided to let desperation be the better part of valor and politely but firmly shut the door before proceeding.
Mrs. Winifred Bromfield had never been so scandalized in her life. A proper lady of means her entire life, she had brought up with impeccable manners and tastes. Up until now, she had made a habit of visiting Batson's every Tuesday for afternoon luncheon. But now, now that she'd seen what kind of lower-class standards the management was slipping toward, she would have to find another restaurant.
How could they allow such a thing? Unthinkable!
Sniffing her nose in perfect disdain, she turned away from the stall with the upturned toilet seat and tottered out the door to give that Batson fellow a piece of her mind.